The Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has explained the reasons why the Peoples Democratic Party unanimously endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan as its candidate for the 2015 general election.
He said the action of the party was to institutionalize the right of first refusal for any incumbent President.
The governor said the PDP by the move has set a new precedent that will give any incumbent President the right to fly the party’s flag without undergoing an elective primary.
Dickson said the new thinking would also reduce the huge cost and internal wraggling associated with a primary election.
He spoke on Tuesday night during an interactive session with the members of the Federated Correspondent Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Dickson expressed optimism that the right of first refusal given to President Jonathan would promote stability in the political system and unity among the party members.
He insisted that the partys gesture was being misconstrued in some quarters to mean a declaration of sole candidacy.
The governor said, It is not a declaration of sole candidacy. What we have done is to stabilise the political system.
What we have done is to say that we dont want to subject our members to the costly and stressful experiences. What we have said is that once you are a President from a political party, you have a right of first refusal. It will reduce in-fighting and cost of lobbying and campaigns.
Whoever comes after Jonathan, will no longer have issues with intra-party conflicts But he will have right of first refusal. In the first term of an administration, there is much in-fighting.
If the right of first refusal had been institutionalized in the past, former President Olusegun Obasanjo wouldnt have been subjected to such issues that came up before his re-election.”
Dickson maintained that democracy should not be about conflicts and unnecessary intrigues but about the stability of institutions.
If President Goodluck Jonathan refuses, then the elective convention will be conducted. This decision is provided for by the electoral law,” he stated.